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Suffolk couple admit lying following five-hour police search after crash

PUBLISHED: 09:34 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:05 19 January 2017

South East Magistrates' Court on Elm Street.

South East Magistrates' Court on Elm Street.

An uninsured Suffolk driver who sparked a five-hour full-scale police search after fleeing a crash scene and then lied to an officer has been given a community order.

Mack Imrie’s partner Chloe Lindow, 22, was also sentenced to a community order after she admitted lying to police on two occasions in an attempt to cover for him.

The pair, of New Road, Beccles, pleaded guilty when they appeared before Ipswich magistrates to obstructing a police officer.

Imrie, a 25-year-old plasterer, also admitted failing to report an accident and driving while uninsured.

The offences occurred on September 4 last year.

Prosecutor Tess Mann said Imrie was involved in a crash in his Renault Megane on the A149 at Ormsby near Great Yarmouth.

The vehicle was found on its roof on the grass verge, but there were no occupants in the car at the time.

The airbags had been deployed and there was blood on the driver’s airbag.

Mrs Mann said police began a five-hour search, involving dogs and the police helicopter.

The car was registered in both Imrie and Lindow’s names.

They claimed it had been left in a nearby car park earlier that evening, but must have been stolen, the court heard.

However, a DNA test on the blood found on the airbag proved it was Imrie’s.

When interviewed he told police he was supervising Lindow who was driving, and they had an accident.

Lindow backed up Imrie’s story.

When challenged, Lindow admitted Imrie had taken the car and when he returned after the accident they created the theft story.

Magistrates were told Imrie had a conviction for drink-driving in 2014, and had 14 points on his licence.

Imrie, representing himself, said he went out with a friend on the evening of the crash. He mistakenly believed he had car insurance, but it ran out at midnight.

Imrie added an animal had run out into the road and he had hit a tree or hedge.

Imrie said when police arrived at his home he was in shock, and that Lindow had panicked and said the car was stolen.

He added: “I deeply regret the whole thing.”

Lindow, representing herself, admitted she panicked when an officer came to their home.

Magistrates disqualified Imrie from driving for six months and gave him a 12-month community order with 150 hours’ unpaid work. He must also pay a total of £745 in fines and costs.

Lindow was given a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work. She must pay £50 costs and £85 to the victims’ fund.

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